What you see is really what you get
I’m somewhat new at this blogging thing—but, you have to start somewhere, right? In my experience—you have to just go for things, and they’ll grow. You get better at them (especially if you’re determined), and people will encourage you along the way.
At least, this is what happened with me and my newfound passion with photography.
I’m not writing this post to vent whatsoever—I’m merely here to stretch out my writing muscles, and, to simply educate interested readers, or my lovely clients, on exactly the value you get in working with a professional photographer (particularly, me!) and how to choose the right one!
To set things straight, I completely and totally support the passion behind photography. It was the flame that led to the fire of me running my own business! However, I think all in the photography business can agree it’s worthwhile—for the client, and the photographer’s sake!—to be transparent with those who want you to take their photos. If you’re someone who just loves to help out shooting some photos of your friends with your nice camera, that’s great, but a professional is someone who is investing into constant education, practice, and networking in order to deliver top-notch results to their clients! Transparency is key!
I believe (and will always believe) there is SO much to learn in the world of photography, I’ll truly never be done learning—and since it’s a form of art and expression, my best work might look completely different than another photographer. Which is why it is important to know the style of the photographer you’re choosing for your special photos—to make sure it’s the right match for your vision! I’ll get more into that later.
Since I spend a lot of quality time with my clients (especially if you choose me for your wedding day…) it’s probably important you each know a bit about my personal and professional journey, and what brought me into pursuing photography.
My educational background is pretty diverse—yet totally applicable to what I do with photography. I pursued business classes after I graduated high school, before entering a program for x-ray technology, where soon after I became an x-ray, CT and Interventional technologist! The skillset I obtained from each of these experiences contributed to my ability to understand a business market, pay close attention to detail, and understand the value of customer service and client relations. And I mean really, I took pictures of the human body… anatomy wise, but still! with my skillsets, I was able to grow a successful business in under a year.
This wasn’t all easy, however, and I personally invested in numerous workshops and worked for free as a second shooter to photographers who mentored me. These are all things I would do again—as the experiences of starting out from nothing, are what make you so passionate and determined to find your own success.
Being 2018, I have knowledge of the business and marketing world—I know the importance and power of social media, and I worked hard to grow my presence. This is no small task, and although it’s a free marketing tool to all—you have to know how to use it to your advantage. To achieve and maintain a professional presence on social media takes time, thought, and total attention to detail as you curate your page to represent your style. In itself—it’s art, too! To prove it matters, I can honestly say I have booked 90% of my clients because of social media networking.
Things You Should Know
Enough about me, this is about you!
I want my readers, clients, and truly anyone else out there wanting to invest in our industry to be educated consumers. With a mutual understanding, the process is more enjoyable for all of you, and us as the photographers!
From my fast-paced and fun-filled year in the industry so far, here’s a few hot tips!
- You Get What You Pay For. I know photography is EXPENSIVE, but we have our (many) reasons why it boils down to a certain price. These reasons are to do with quality, and investments that will 100% return to your end result. You want to make sure you’re asking your photographer all the right questions to assure yourself they have valuable experience and utilize professionally graded equipment. Here are some key things to talk to your photographer about:
– If you are paying for a professional photographer you better be damn sure they have professional equipment. Make sure they don’t have just one camera, they need two or three! Because the last thing you want is a call at 6 am on your wedding day that your photographer’s only camera has died (que song, “another one bites the dust”).
-Ask to see a full wedding gallery and not just the pictures they took during sunset hour. Nine times out of ten your photographer will need to use flash at some point during your wedding. When you see a full gallery, you will not just see the perfect images they post on social media. Instagram and blogs are a highlight real. It’s hard to come to terms with that, but it’s the truth! Are flash images as nice as outdoor or sunset pictures? Usually, no. Thats why many people don’t post them. Remember you are investing in a full day. Make sure “ what you see is really what you get”.Many people think that they can take some pictures, buy a preset and BAM they are a new photography business. Nuh uh honey, It doesn’t work like that. You need to learn the ins and outs of your camera, the business aspect, communicating with your clients, how to pose, how to work with unexpected weather or lighting, and the list really does go on and on and on.
– Pricing is a huge thing to ask your photographer. And not just “Heyyyyy what you chargin’ for a wedding?” When I get inquiries like this I can already tell they won’t be my future clients. Consumers who talk like this are merely shopping around. And that’s ok! We all love a good deal! But when you find this good deal resort yourself back to my previous statements. Is your photographer invested? Invested in your wedding day, their business and themselves? The best inquiries are the ones that begin with “Ash, I’ve been following your journey and I love your work! I really am hoping you are available for our wedding next summer!” And I’m sitting over here blushing with a big shit eatin’ grin on my face because you made my day and got me all excited! You see, this is not just a transaction. This is a relationship. Ya that sounds stupid right. I’m just taking your pictures. Nope I’m not. I’m making you laugh, making you comfortable enough to make out with your significant other while I’m standing above you, I’m tickling your child or holding your newborn baby, I’m the third wheel on your elopement or wedding day. You’re trusting me to step into YOUR world and that’s a pretty big deal.
Look for a Spark! No, not romantically…but friendship wise! If you’re looking for a photographer to spend your wedding or another important event with you, it’s a heck of a lot better if you feel comfortable and get along with them. I love to make couples I work with feel comfortable by making them laugh, and that’s a lot easier if I get to know them on a personal level! So let’s grab a coffee, a wine, a beer, whatever floats your boat. And let’s chat! Let’s become friends because I am so proud to say that at the end of the journey with all my clients, I feel as though they indeed are my new friends and that we have truly connected.
In closing, remember you’re not just investing in the photography service…you’re investing in the person! As the consumer, you have to put in the research, time, and thought into selecting the right photographer for you. If you do, you’ll cherish the special moments captured in the photos, and the ones with the person behind the lens!